Evolutionary Theory for Food Preference and Obesity.

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The Evolutionary Theory – Food Preference

Evolutionary psychologists suggest that obesity is the maladaptive product of changes that took place in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation thousands of years ago. They say that food preferences and eating habits developed to promote survival such as when people “binge” eat, consuming excess amounts of food, it’s because we are in effect wired to consume as much as possible after years of living in scarcity. Basically the creature we know to be the standard human have been around for at least one hundred and fifty thousand years. For the vast majority of this time, we have lived in a way in which eating as much as you could where possible could mean the difference between life and death. Today however, this means we consume excess fats and sugars because we are subconsciously driven to do so, when in actuality many of us could do with cutting down on sugars and fats, as seen with rocketing obesity levels. Perhaps in a million years people will have problems with eating too much fruit and vegetables, if this theory is correct.

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If the evolutionary explanation of eating behavior is correct then we should expect to such behavior is universal, present in young children before cultural or social learning takes place and is mirrored in the animal kingdom. One study that shows that such preferences are universal is “Universal dimensions of human mate preferences” by Todd K. Shackelford, David P. Schmitt, David M. Buss. This study showed how all animals has various preference when choosing mates. This is another point which supports the evolutionary idea, implying that we are “wired up” to have attractions to characteristics which would provide us with ...

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